Gaming keyboards are great additions to any desk setup. A lot of them have great aesthetics. And if you are a gamer, then the added functionality of gaming keyboards will surely help give you a better gaming experience.
Gaming keyboards share the same core components as other regular mechanical keyboards, therefore they should also feel good for typing although there are some exceptions. Some keyboard switches that are designed for gaming are not the best options for typing. Everyday users may find the design of gaming keyboards to be excessive. But overall, a well-designed gaming keyboard should also be able to provide a good typing experience.
In this article, we will dive deeper into gaming keyboards and also compare them with other regular keyboards. We will also compare gaming keyboards with custom keyboards to see how well they hold up.
What Makes a Keyboard Good for Typing?
The one thing that makes a keyboard perfect for typing is the feedback they give. Regardless of what keyboard type you are using, the keys need to feel satisfying when pressing them.
If you are using a mushy feeling keyboard, then chances are that you will type slower and make more mistakes. However, if you have a keyboard that allows you to feel each keystroke, then you will be able to type more efficiently and make fewer errors.
Mechanical keyboards with tactile switches often give this kind of sensation. However, other switch types such as linear switches or even other keyboard types such as membrane and chiclet keyboards are also capable of giving a good typing experience.
Gaming Keyboards vs. Normal Keyboards
Before we proceed with our discussion, let us first discuss the difference between regular keyboards and gaming keyboards. As their name implies, gaming keyboards are primarily designed to meet the needs of gamers. Each component is optimized for the best gaming performance possible.
Several things are taken into consideration for gaming keyboards. Most modern gaming keyboards have a smaller form factor to allow better mouse movement. The height and ergonomics of the keyboard are also optimized for the desk of most gamers.
And the most important aspect of gaming keyboards is the switch choice. Most mechanical gaming keyboards are equipped with a fast switch such as a linear switch or an optical switch. This allows the keyboard to instantaneously send keystrokes as soon as they are registered.
Additionally, gaming keyboards have additional features such as the ability to program each key as well as the ability to program macros. This can help with creating in-game shortcuts and can also be useful for creative professionals such as video editors.
Can Gaming Keyboards Give a Good Typing Experience?
Despite being primarily designed for gaming, a lot of gaming keyboards also give a very good typing experience. The main reason for this is because most gaming keyboards also share the same components as regular mechanical keyboards.
For instance, there are many keyboards that are equipped with tactile switches or clicky switches which are preferred by typists. Some gaming keyboards also offer a hot-swap PCB, meaning you can put in your own switches and tailor it for the best typing experience.
Of course, not all gaming keyboards will be the best for typists. Some gaming keyboards can feature an odd layout that is designed for specific games. They can help you reach your shortcuts faster but might be next to impossible to type fast on.
Also, some smaller form factor gaming keyboards such as 60% keyboards may not be the best for typists. These keyboards are typically missing some keys such as the arrow keys. Some variants of this layout can also make the right shift smaller and transfer the “?” to another location in order to implement arrow keys.
But overall, most gaming keyboards from big brands such as Logitech and Razer are decent enough to type on. If you are planning on getting gaming keyboards for both gaming and typing, then you shouldn’t worry about having a subpar typing experience.
But with that said, you can also opt for a custom keyboard for the best typing and gaming experience. These aren’t for everyone but are a step above your regular gaming keyboards.
Gaming Keyboard vs. Custom Keyboard
As we have mentioned earlier, as long as a gaming keyboard is well designed, it can also be a good choice for typing. However, gaming keyboards will always have their limitations.
Gaming keyboards are regular production boards that are made in a factory. This means that manufacturers cannot nail the fine details such as switch and stabilizer lubing. As a result, you will get some imperfections, such as uneven keys or stabilizer rattle.
Of course, you can fix some of these issues if you are brave enough to open up your keyboard and void your warranty. Or, if you have a hot-swap gaming keyboard, you can fix some of these issues yourself. But overall, there will still be something missing in your typing experience.
If you want to take things to the next level, you can always opt for custom mechanical keyboards. These are higher-priced than your typical gaming keyboard. However, you will be able to handpick all the components of your keyboard such as the case material and plate material to get the best gaming or typing experience.
Again, these aren’t for everyone. The whole process can be very time-consuming. Lubing the switches alone can almost take up the entirety of your day.
Additionally, unlike gaming keyboards, custom keyboards aren’t always readily available. This is because most of these keyboards are made by smaller companies.
Most custom keyboard kits are only available through a group buy. And if you miss out, the only way to get them is through the aftermarket. But if you can get past these small hurdles, you are guaranteed to have a gaming and typing experience that cannot be matched by any regular production gaming keyboard.
The KBE team is dedicated to sharing our knowledge and creating useful resources about computer keyboards. This article was written as a team collaboration, combining our knowledge and years of experience using, building and modding keyboards. Meet the team here.